The new judges of American Idol gathered together for the first time on Wednesday, and shared their devastation and hope for change in the wake of the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 59 and left over 500 injured over the weekend.
“We just don’t know when it’s going to happen again and we’re all trying to figure out the answers,” said Katy Perry, 32, during the judges’ joint appearance on Good Morning America. “I’m not saying I have the answers, and I pray every day. But the one thing we have to remember is prayer without action is powerless.”
Perry pushed for “action” when it comes to gun control, saying, “No one is saying, ‘Take away your guns,’ but we just don’t necessarily need assault rifles, assault weapons.”
“We have to put our foot down more than just sending our condolences,” she said. “Honestly, I get really sick to my stomach with everyone just sending their condolences, and then going back to selfie-ing and doing their regular stuff. That is not enough.”
“Hearing one of your best friends shaken up like that, knowing they’ll never be able to un-see these things, you get lumps and you get nauseated,” Bryan said, adding, “Katy and I, and Lionel talked, and there’s just got to be something we can do. From the mental health issue to all of the issues that are causing these things.”
Richie, 68, called live performances “the heartbeat” of music, explaining, “We see the fans. We look at the faces every night on stage. We live for that.”
“To think for a moment we are now getting to a stage where live performances are in jeopardy — the worst nightmare we ever have in life is something like that would happen,” continued Richie. “But you always have it in the back of your mind… and then when it finally happens, it’s terrifying.”
During the appearance, the trio — who Perry dubbed “the dream team” — also opened up about working together on the rebooted vocal competition series, and revealed how they’ll go about finding new talent during the audition process.
“There’s still talent out there to be discovered,” said Perry. “There are still stars and diamonds in the rough and I think the great American dream, — we can revive that in a way and show people that they have the talent, if they work really hard and if we can give them that lucky star, and the combination of those things, maybe we can give them a little platform to just shine.”
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Echoed Richie, “It’s amazing the confidence this new generation has, and I think what’s really wonderful for us we get to see it and if any way try to tweak it just a little bit — they don’t need much but I’m telling you what’s coming down the pipeline is really exciting.”